15.3.1939. – A fateful day for Czechoslovakia

The thrust of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on the morning of 15 March 1939

The 15 March 1939 was to be an ominous day in Czechoslovak history. In Berlin, during the early hours of that morning, Dr Emil Hácha, the Czechoslovak President, had been pressurised by Adolf Hitler into ceding the Bohemia and Moravia regions of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. Slovakia had already been granted ‘independence’ from Czechoslovakia in return for supporting Germany.

Failure to agree to accept that demand would have resulted in the Luftwaffe bombing Prague to destruction that morning. Prague, following Germany being ceded the Sudeten regions of Czechoslovakia following the Munich Agreement of September 1938, was now a mere 60 miles from the German border – with no land defenses in-between.

At 04:00, Dr Hácha ordered the Czechoslovak military to remain in their barracks and not to resist the German Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe when the occupation began at 06:00 that morning. Thus Prague was to have the unenviable distinction of being the first capital to be occupied by the Germans – and in May 1945 the last capital to be liberated from them.

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Within a few days of the occupation, the Czechoslovak military was disbanded and the airmen and soldiers sent home. However, many were unable to accept the occupation and within days, began to plan their escape to neigbouring Poland, to join Czechoslovak military units being formed there,

A fateful day for Czechoslovakia, but it was to have tragic consequences for the rest of Europe, not just WWII, but for the next fifty years.

Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Anniversary, Into exile | 4 Comments

Emil Bocek – Strach jsem si nepripoustel

Emil Boček.
Strach jsem si nepřipouštěl


Jiří Plachý

Životní příběh Emila Bočka je vpravdě fascinující. Narodil se roku 1923 v Brně, odkud odešel tajně na konci roku 1939, balkánskou cestou se dostal do Bejrútu. Jako vojín pěšího pluku se účastnil ústupových bojů ve Francii v létě 1940. V září 1940 byl již v Británii a přihlásil se k letectvu. Nejdříve sloužil jako mechanik u stíhacích strojů, v říjnu 1942 byl přijat do pilotního výcviku a mohl se tak stát jedním z nejmladších československých stíhacích pilotů, kteří měli za sebou operační lety během druhé světové války. Byl přijat do RAF, nejdříve sloužil jako mechanik, poté jako pilot-stíhač u československé 310. stíhací perutě, za sebou má 26 operačních letů.

Výjimečný projekt založený na rozhovorech a vzpomínkách Emila Bočka, vedený historikem Jiřím Plachým, který se specializuje na problematiku československých vojáků působících v RAF.

Generálmajor Emil Boček je nositelem Řádu Bílého lva za mimořádné zásluhy o obranu a bezpečnost státu a vynikající bojovou činnost.

ISBN: 9-788075-652751
Počet stran
Hardback, 264+32 pages
Vázaná, 264+32 strana
298 Kč

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Eduard Prchal Exhibition – 7. 3. – 13. 5. 2018.

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Josef Dygryn – 10.3.2018. – Lhotice

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My Exile 1939-1945 – Tomas Lowenstein

Tomáš Löwenstein was born into a Jewish family in Prague, Czechoslovakia on 01/08/24, during WW2 he served in 311 Sqn as a Wireless Operator and later with 111 OTU in the Bahamas. Some of his recollections of those times are below.

Here goes my modest contribution to the war effort”.

When I became of military age in 1942, I enlisted at the Czech Embassy in London asking to be assigned to the Czech section of the RAF. My life in service of HM George VI („for the duration of the present emergency“) started at the Czech army camp Cholmondeley in May 1943. Because the only units of the Czech forces in GB in action was the Air Force, I applied for a transfer to the RAF; after about six months of infantry training, I was finally sent to the RAF Czech depot at Cosford. (My applications for transfer were simply ignored. So when after about 6 months infantry training I was on guard duty at the gate sometime before dawn and heard a hoard of totally drunk soldiers approaching I challenged them “stůj – kdo tam heslo” (“Stop – who goes there”) and they replied some vulgarities plus “S NÁMI JE VELITEL TÁBORA” (“with us is the Camp Commander”) I ordered firmly “heslo – k zemi !!! – I don´t know him” the howling grew in intensity until the Commander of our guards unit emerged from the hut, apologetically opened the gate and….In no time I was transferred to the Czech RAF depot Cosford).

Training parades and general service in the RAF. After about a month prospective aircrews were selected by a committee and I was sent to No. 1 Radio School at Cranwell. A month of basic radio operator training in classrooms, two months radio operating in flight. Another two months training as aircrew radio mechanic then transfer to No.10 Air Gunnery School at Burrow-in-Furness. In December 1945 I was finally trained and transferred to the Czechoslovak 311 squadron at Tain, Scotland …..

Here, I was assigned to the crew of J.Simet, but a chap who had the same professional training as me, asked me to swap with him because he had friends in the crew Simet, I had no objections, he arranged it and in consequence, I served in the crew of Captain Hořejší. A few months later the crew piloted by Simet had a nasty crash with many casualties. After take-off you had to cross Moray Firth gaining adequate height to cross the hills on the northern shore — if you didn´t have the plane at your fingertips you could not learn that even in 100 years. And Captain Simet did not get a chance to learn it.

We performed operational training flights mainly in order for the skipper to get acquainted with the Liberator, take-offs and landings by day and night, (so-called circuits and bumps), diversion airfields etc, On the first flight the skipper asked me if I could operate the radar set, I confessed that I had never seen it before but could try it. After a while he asked me over the intercom what I was seeing on the set: I reported the distance from the shore, no obstacles ahead etc. Hořejší murmured something in the sense that he could see that too, without my box. After a while he repeated his question, I read the new data from the screen. This time he said that this was quite good, we were in a cloud, he could not see anything. One day we flew to Aberdeen for some small repair and had the afternoon off duty. The members of the crew wanted to enjoy themselves and asked me if I could go with Hořejší to a café, so I spent the afternoon with the „old man“, he was already about 30 years old. I liked him.

Tomáš Löwenstein, 311 Sqn.

Jan.17th, Liberator PP-MX, take-off 11.40, operational training flight. One of the exercises was to launch parachute flares. These flares contained some kilos of magnesium, suspended on a parachute, all in a cylindrical sheet-metal container. Activated by throwing the whole contraption out through the flare-chute, the slipstream tore out the primary parachute, this pulled out the main parachute which jerked at the igniter and only then the magnesium was set on fire, burning for some minutes. Absolutely safe and foolproof — unless you had such a nincompoop in your crew as we had. He stuffed the flare down the flare chute parachute first. The slipstream tore out the small parachute, this tore out the main parachute, this jammed the flare in the flare-chute and set off the fireworks. Manual fire-extinguishers were of absolutely of no avail but probably prevented other things from going aflame. The pilot got permission for an emergency landing at Wick, the nearest airport, (North-Eastern corner of Scotland, where we landed at 14.20. Luckily there was no structural damage except that the rudder control cables were interrupted, but that could not prevent a born pilot like our F/Lt Hořejší from making turns and steering using the four engines and making a perfect landing at Wick. If it had been the elevator control cables…..not even Hořejší could have prevented a crash into the sea.

The crew examining the damage caused by the flare.

Operational patrol flight between Norway and Iceland, 13 hours flying time, horrible weather. Atmospheric noise suppressed any signal in the earphones. Wind speed about 100 mph. The Liberator jumped about like a toy, we were all sea-sick. Luckily the automatic pilot stood up to it and did not break the control cables – there was no soft-start in the system. In the tail section, the excursions were the worst, F/Lt Hořejší ordered us to leave the tail machine gun turret unoccupied, saying we wouldn´t be able to hit anything anyway and the Luftwaffe did not fly in this weather. Not long after that our crew was dispersed: Hořejší finished his operational tour, the Flight Engineer was grounded because he got airsick even when he looked at the Liberator he was supposed to fly in, I had to report to the squadron HQ where I was told to pack my kitbag and get ready for transfer to 111 OTU in the Bahamas. I begged the Commander to leave me with 311 Sqd, and to send someone else to the OTU. He told me that this was an order, no discussion, he needed an experienced Wireless Operator and Radar Operator, with knowledge of English language, capable of getting there without an escort. ABOUT TURN ! GET GOING !

The steamer Queen Mary lay at anchor, waiting for me in the Clyde estuary, a small ferry steamer brought us aboard. Our cabin was somewhere deep inside the hull, only at night did I manage to persuade the guard to let me do some jogging on the deck. The Queen Mary was relatively fast and sailed solo, without an escort. After some six days we landed in New York. Without delay they carted us off to some US Army camp north of the city, we deposited our RAF outfit and got US tropical gear there. We got some time off, so I visited Aunt Clotilde Schweiger somewhere in the suburbs of New York, Central Park, the Empire State Building scraper and some more „musts“. In the evening we boarded the train for Miami Florida (just like Marilyn Monroe in „Some like it Hot“). After 2 days we were in Miami, again not like today´s TV shape but just like in the above-mentioned film. In the evening we boarded a small steamer, about the size of our Vltava boats. Not propelled by paddle wheels at the sides but a propeller screw at the back. Next morning we were at Nassau, the capital of the Bahama Islands. We lived in huts on Oak Field and flew in twin-engined B25 Mitchell’s. We flew day and night circuits, navigational and radio exercises, low-level bombing etc. My radio station was behind the bomb-bay, which in this type of plane could not be passed through.

Tomáš Löwenstein, 111 OTU

Nassau, Bahamas, 111 Operational Training Unit. March 3rd. Mitchel B25 FN, Pilot F/Lt Engel, take-off at 8.25 a.m. Low-Level Bombing exercise with small, about 12 kilo bombs. I was behind the bomb-bay at the radio and had to lie down at the tail window to report bomb impact on the ground. After several normal bombing runs, I reported that I did not see any bomb explosion on the ground. The Captain murmured something about better watching next time, closed the bomb-bay doors and went into a steep climb. This released the bomb from its holder, on hitting the closed doors exploded, I was drenched in hydraulic fluid, but no splinters hit me. We got priority to land – but the left landing gear refused to come down. F/O Jan Irving, a Czech pilot who was sent to the Bahamas as the Chief Pilot Instructor after completing twice his full operational flying tours in Europe, came up in a target-towing plane and advised our Captain how to shake the wheel out into position. All aerobatics only shook out the contents of our stomachs but the undercarriage leg was left freely dangling and refused to lock in place. When the fuel tanks were practically emptied, fire engines, ambulances etc. were ready for action at the runway, F/Lt Engel made a perfect approach, held the Mitchell on the right and front wheels as long as possible when the left wing touched the ground we spun around in circles. I had read up my „crash position“ instructions: on the floor, stemming hands and feet against the fuselage ribs so that I would not be thrown about in the fuselage – no safety belts for the radio man. After the dust settled down we found ourselves in one piece and practically without damage (except for the poor B25 Mitchel). The fire engines and ambulances that day had no action to report.

After some five weeks of training flights on Mitchell aircraft, we were moved over to the Windsor Field, also on Nassau Island, where we continued operational training flights on B24 Liberators. Again „circuits and bumps“, day and night, radio and navigation exercises. The war in Europe ended, but we were kept on for transfer to the Japanese war in the Pacific Ocean region. Our last operational training flight was a patrol Nassau – Bermuda – Nassau. No problems on the flight there, flying time 5:15 hours. On the way back I soon saw on my radiogoniometer that we were heading some degrees Eastward from the direction to Nassau. After about one hour flying time Nassau lay about 10 degrees off our course. I reported this on the intercom to the pilot who told me something like „mind your own business“. After another hour I reported that we were now about 25 degrees off – course, the same reply from Captain Engel. When after about another hour I found that Nassau was exactly 90 degrees to the left, I became adamant, reporting that we were now flying away from Nassau. So they called me up to the pilot’s cabin and showed me a lighthouse whose beacon showed clearly right ahead of us – but the morse code of the beam was not Nassau, so we turned about 90 degrees left and after an hour or so landed at Nassau with not much fuel left in the tanks. And who is going to tell me there are no Nayads and other mysterious forces who deflect navigator´s compass and lure ships and planes to destruction in the waves between Bermuda – Nassau – Miami? Luckily the Nayads forgot to screw up my radiogoniometer too.

Time off-duty at 111 OTU

Sundays I liked to stroll through the port of the native fishermen, one day I met there a Dutchman doing the same. When he offered to hire a sailing boat for the day from a native fisherman, of course, I agreed enthusiastically and thus we visited repeatedly a deserted island, where coconuts were on the ground and on the palm trees quite gratis, but climbing on palm trees is much less agreeable than the poles in the gymnasium. The return sailing was usually quite exciting because evening tides and no wind were an obstacle – but CPO Butler at the helm knew his job. I also spent quite some time „piloting“ in LINK trainers (not really blind flying, the instruments are not inscribed in Braille) which stood idle on most aerodromes.

The Yanks made up their mind to finish the war with Japan without my help; they dropped two atomic bombs there, Hirohito signed unconditional surrender, I packed up my old kitbag, went by steamer to Miami, by train to New York, handed over my US gear and got back my old European kitbag deposited there. On the Queen Mary back to Scotland, by train down to Manston airfield, on board a Stirling bomber to Prague. Demobbed from the Armed Forces to continue my physics studies started at Glasgow, concentrating on technical physics, high vacuum technology and electronics which became my hobby and profession. With some luck, not being an officer or an active pilot, I survived the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic with no serious harm. Some readers of the original Czech text of this pamphlet urged me to write more about my war-time life. But I am neither Biggles nor Bond and don´t intend to mix facts and fiction, so I shall leave it at that. Three cheers to You if you enjoyed reading this to the end.

© Tomáš Löwenstein 2017

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RAF Rehabilitation Ceremony – September 1991

About the significant RAF Rehabilitation Ceremony which was held in Prague on 13 September 1991.

Wherein the Czechoslovak men and women, who had served in RAF during WW2, were morally and politically rehabilitated by Czechoslovakia after 43 years of Communist rule. An insight as to how they were persecuted by that regime is here.

Many of these men and women having flown in from numerous countries around the world to participate in this memorable ceremony.

Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd | 3 Comments

Miroslav Liskutin


* 23/08/19, Jiříkovice, Brno, Czechoslovakia.
† 19/02/18, Fareham, UK.


With sadness we must advise that

F/O Miroslav LIŠKUTÍN 787424 (158235)

312 Sqn pilot


19 February 2018,


19. 2. 2018. v Fareham.


F/O Miroslav LIŠKUTÍN 787424 (158235)

312.perutě pilot


Rest in Peace

Čest jeho památce

Posted in 312 Sqd, No longer with us | 6 Comments

Brookwood Ceremony 2.2.2018

Pietní akt v Brookwoodu 2.2.2018

Following on from the funeral of Maj. General Ivan Schwarz at Brookwood, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Czechoslovak Memorial in the CWGC section at Broookwood.

V návaznosti na poslední rozloučení s generálmajorem Ivanem Schwarzem v Brookwoodu se v prostorách Československého památníku v oddělení CWGC v Brookwoodu uskutečnilo slavnostní položení věnců.

Prior to the ceremony, Slovak flags had been placed by each of the headstones of 48 Czechoslovak airmen buried in the CWGC section of Brookwood cemetery.

Před vlastním obřadem byly ke každému z náhrobků 48 československých letců, pohřbených na brookwoodském hřbitově, položeny slovenské vlaječky.

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Representing the Slovak Republic were Peter Gajdoš, Minister of Defence, HE Ľubomír Rehák, Ambassador at the Slovak Embassy, London, Maj.Gen Lubomir Sloboda, Commander of Slovak Air Force, Brig. Gen Vladimír Šimko, Commander of the Military Office of the President of the Slovak Republic, Col Jan Goceliak, Defence Attaché at the Slovak Embassy, London. Maj. Gen Pavel Macko, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic.

Slovenskou republikou zastupoval Peter Gajdoš, ministr obrany, Jeho Excelence Lubomír Rehák, velvyslanec SR v Londýně, generálmajor Lubomír Sloboda, velitel leteckých sil SR, brig. generál Vladimír Šimko, velitel Vojenské kanceláře prezidenta republiky, plukovník Jan Goceliak, vojenský přidělenec velvyslanectví SR v Londýně, generálmajor Pavel Macko, zástupce náčelníka generálního štábu ozbrojených sil SR.

Representing the Czech Republic were HE Libor Sečka Ambassador of the Czech Embassy, London, Maj. Gen. Jaromír Šebesta, Commander of the Czech Republic Air Force, WW2 RAF veteran Maj. Gen Emil Boček and Col Jiří Svatoš, Defence Attaché at the Czech Embassy, London.

Českou republiku zastupoval Jeho Excelence Libor Sečka velvyslanec ČR v Londýně, generálmajor Jaromír Šebesta, velitel letectva ČR, generálmajor Emil Boček, veterán RAF a plk. Jiří Svatoš, vojenský přidělenec velvyslanectví ČR v Londýně.

The Guard of Honour consisted of members of the Slovak Republic Presidential Guard, and airmen from the Air Force of the Czech Republic

Čestnou stráž tvořili členové Prezidentské stráže SR a zástupci letectva ČR.

Wreaths were laid first on behalf of the Slovak Republic followed by the Czech Republic, concluding with the ‘Last Post’ being played by the bugler from the Slovak Air Force.

Nejdříve byly slavnostně položeny věnce jménem Slovenské republiky, následované Českou republikou. Na závěr zazněl “Poslední pochod”, který přednesli trubači slovenského letectva.

The ceremony concluded with remembrance candles being placed on the Czechoslovak Memorial and by each of the headstones.

Slavnostní obřad byl zakončen zapálením památečních svíček, umístěných na Československém památníku a na každém z náhrobků.

Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Ceremony, Not Forgotton | 1 Comment

Sitensky Exhibition – 13.2. do 7.3.

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Brookwood 2.2.2018 – Ivan Schwarz

The final farewell to Major General Ivan Otto Schwarz, former air-gunner with 311 Sqn and the last surviving member of the aircrew that sunk the Alsterufer, was held at CWGC Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, on 2 February 2018.

Poslední rozloučení s generál majorem Ivanem Otto Schwarzem, bývalým palubním střelcem u 311. bombardovací perutě a posledním žijícím členem posádky, která potopila německou loď Alsterufer, se konal 2. února 2018 na hřbitově CWGC Brookwood v Surrey.

It was a military funeral, organised by the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic and supported by their counterparts from the Czech Republic. Flown over, that morning, for the event by the Slovak Air Force were Peter Gajdoš, Minister of Defence, Maj.Gen Lubomir Sloboda, Commander of Slovak Air Force, Brig. Gen Vladimír Šimko, Commander of the Military Office of the President of the Slovak Republic, Maj. Gen Pavel Macko, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, Maj. Vladimír Varga – Director of the Ecumenical Pastoral Service of the Slovak Armed Forces, former Defence attaché’s at the Slovak Embassy London, Col Milan Gavlas and Col. Vladimír Samek, the Guard of Honour which including members of the Presidential Guard, bugler for the Slovak Air Force and numerous members of the Slovak media.

Byl to vojenský pohřeb, organizovaný ministerstvem obrany Slovenské republiky a podporovaný také ze strany České republiky. Toho rána přiletěli na tuto událost leteckých sil SR ministr obrany SR, Peter Gajdoš, generálmajor Lubomír Sloboda, velitel letectva SR, brig. generál Vladimír Šimko, velitel Vojenské kanceláře prezidenta republiky, generálmajor Pavel Macko, zástupce náčelníka generálního štábu ozbrojených sil SR, Vladimír Varga – ředitel ekumenické pastorační služby ozbrojených sil SR, bývalý armádní atašé na velvyslanectví SR v Londýně, plukovník Milan Gavlas a plukovník Vladimír Samek, členové Čestné stráže prezidenta SR, trubači vojenských leteckých sil SR a řada zástupců slovenských medií.

From the Czech Republic came Maj. Gen. Jaromír Šebesta, Commander of the Czech Republic Air Force, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic and WW2 RAF veteran Maj. Gen Emil Boček.

Z České republiky byl za ministerstvo národní obrany přítomen velitel leteckých sil ČR generálmajor Jaromír Šebesta a veterán 2. světové války, příslušník RAF, generálmajor Emil Boček.

From Spain had come Krys, daughter of Ivan Schwarz, with husband Juan and daughters Milena and Paula.

Ze Španělska přicestovala Krys, dcera Ivana Schwarze, s manželem Juanem a dcerami Milenou a Paulou.

From the UK was HE Ľubomír Rehák, Ambassador at the Slovak Embassy, London, HE Libor Sečka Ambassador of the Czech Embassy, London, Col Jan Goceliak and Col Jiří Svatoš, Defence Attaché’s and the Slovak and Czech Embassies respectively, Air Vice-Marshal Edward Stringer, Assistant Chief of the UK Defence Staff (Operations), representing the RAF, Artur Bildziuk, Chairman of the Polish Airmen’s Association, representative from CWGC, a former Defence Attaché from the British Embassy, Bratislava, relatives from Slovakia, family friends and numerous well-wishers and Jaromir Marek, UK journalist for Český rozhlas.

Za účastníky z Velké Británie byli přítomni Jeho Excelence Ľubomír Rehák, velvyslance SR v Londýně, Jeho Excelence Libor Sečka velvyslanec ČR v Londýně, plukovník Jan Goceliak a plukovník Jiří Svatoš, vojenští přidělenci velvyslanectví SR a ČR v Londýně, Air Vice-Marshall Edward Stringer, náměstek náčelníka britského obranného štábu (operace), který zastupuje RAF, Artur Bildziuk, předseda polské letecké asociace, zástupce CWGC, bývalý vojenský přidělenec britského velvyslanectví v Bratislavě, příbuzní zesnulého ze Slovenska, rodinní přátelé, řada sympatizantů a britský zpravodaj pro Český rozhlas, Jaromír Marek.

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Speeches, in English, were given by Col Jan Goceliak who welcomed all who were there. The Slovak song “Aka si mi krásna” – “How beautiful are you” was then played.

Všechny přítomné přivítal v anglickém jazyce plukovník Jan Goceliak. Zazněla slovenská píseň “Aká si mi krásna”.

The opening speech was by Maj.Gen Lubomir Sloboda who told about the life of Ivan Schwarz. Brig. Gen Vladimír Šimko then read out a note condolence from Andrej Kiska, President of the Slovak Republic. Peter Gajdoš’s speech then followed and continued the theme of talking about the life of Ivan Schwarz, Maj. Gen. Jaromír Šebesta, in his speech, continued with that theme. Air Vice-Marshal Edward Stringer gave a speech about the invaluable assistance that foreign airmen had been to the RAF during WW2. A short concluding speech, in Czech, was then given by Maj. Gen Emil Boček.

Zahajovací projev přednesl generálmajor Lubomír Sloboda, ve kterém zmínil hlavní milníky života Ivana Schwarze. Brig. generál Vladimír Šimko poté přečetl kondolenci od prezidenta Slovenské republiky, Andreje Kisky. Peter Gajdoš potom následně ve své řeči zmínil další detaily ze života Ivana Schwarze, podobně jako po něm i generálmajor Jaromír Šebesta v projevu svém. Air Vice-Marshal Edward Stringer pak přednesl projev o neocenitelné pomoci, kterou zahraniční letci přinesli do RAF během 2. světové války. Krátký závěrečný projev v češtině pak pronesl také válečný veterán, generálmajor Emil Boček.

Slovak Military Chaplain Maj. Vladimír Varga, in English, gave a short, non-domination blessing to the farewell ceremony and the flag of the Slovak Republic was then presented to the family of Ivan Schwarz by Maj. Gen Pavel Macko.

Poté slovenský vojenský kaplan major Vladimír Varga, měl krátké, pokorné požehnání v němž dal zesnulému poslední Sbohem. Generálmajor Pavel Macko pak slavnostně daroval rodině Ivana Schwarze vlajku Slovenské republiky.

The Honour Guard, between them, carrying the national flags of the Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, Standard, framed picture, medals, cap and wooden casket and wreaths then led the procession to the post-WW2 Czechoslovak grave section, where the Honour Guard stood at the rear of the Schwarz family grave, Wreaths were laid, firstly by the family, followed by the official wreaths from the Slovak and Czech Republics. Chaplain Maj. Vladimír Varga then read out a short blessing, concluding with Peter Gajdoš symbolically sprinkling some soil from Ivan Schwarz’s homeland at the grave. Wreaths and flower bouquets were laid by the representatives of CWGC, the Polish Airmen’s Association and by numerous well-wishers were then laid. A minutes silence was then held, with the bugler from the Slovak Air Force playing the ‘Last Post’.

Smuteční průvod tvořila Čestná stráž s národními vlajkami Slovenské a České republiky, Spojeného království, standartami, rámovaným obrazem, medailemi, která přenesla dřevěnou rakev a věnce ke hrobu v poválečném oddělení československé sekce. Ke hrobu, za nímž stála Čestná stráž, položila věnce nejdříve rodina Schwarzových, poté následovaly oficiální věnce ze Slovenské a České republiky. Kaplan major Vladimír Varga pak přečetl krátké požehnání a spolu s Peterem Gajdošem symbolicky posypali rakev zesnulého prstí, přenesenou z jeho rodné vlasti. Věnce a kytice květů pak ke hrobu položili také zástupci CWGC, Polské letecké asociace a četní sympatizanti. Obřad byl zakončen minutou ticha, po níž zahráli trubači slovenských leteckých sil “Poslední pochod”.

Many congratulations to the Slovak authorities who organised and hosted today’s event, which was the most impressive ever held at the Czechoslovak section of Brookwood.

Je třeba vyjádřit velké poděkování oficiálním místům Slovenské republiky za organizaci, přijetí a pohoštění všech účastníků této události, zřejmě nejpůsobivější, jaká se v místě československé části hřbitova v Brookwoodu kdy uskutečnila.

Posted in 311 Sqd, Ceremony, No longer with us, Not Forgotton | 4 Comments